This past Sunday, I logged into Facebook and was met with the saddening news that my friend Patty was killed in a car accident earlier that morning. I immediately called her sister just hoping that my eyes were deceiving me. She was very calm as she explained to me what she knew of the accident details though it was all still sketchy to her. I racked my brain to find the words to express my shock and sadness but only "I'm so sorry!" would come out. Several days later, I am still in disbelief. I can speak of her death but no emotions are there. I can only give facts. Normally, I have to force myself to remove the high-powered emotions that pulse through me so that I can give just the facts. There are none. I feel like a robot. I prefer to process emotions alone but I don't think I've had the time to do that this week. I'm sure that eventually my heart will swell beyond capacity and the tears will flow uncontrollably but not yet. Driving to her wake today, I was waiting for that moment. Walking into the funeral home, I was still waiting on that moment. As I stood there in the viewing room, my heart & mind could not fully make the connection of what I was taking in. Seeing her without that trademark smile & infectious laugh made it hard for me to believe my friend was in that casket. How could someone so beautiful, funny, kind-hearted, passionate and resilient come into my life for just a short time but make such an impact? In one year, Patty taught me what it was really like to be present in the moment & not be afraid to be your authentic self. She was just a few months older than me yet she'd learned to weather so many more of life's storms than I. Driving home, I was struck with the reality of just how bittersweet life can be. Patty was just getting back on her feet & starting to make her dreams a reality. I remember looking at the fan page she'd created for her new business & thinking "Oh, Patty! There you go again! I can't wait to see this!" I never got to ask her about the business & now I may never know what was going on in that head of hers. I don't know what God's plans were when he made me a part of Patty's world. I can only hope that I made the kind of impact on her that she made on me. The picture featured is the last time that we got to hang out. Dancing to the Pussy Cat Dolls on the bar at Coyote Ugly, I never for one second thought we would not have the opportunity to do it again. My heart is heavy but I will cherish the laughs we shared!